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    February 17, 1887

    “Human Law Against Divine Law” The Signs of the Times, 13, 7.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The Christian Standard having been asked what the duty of an elder of a church is with a member who stays away from church service during the busy part of the year, and spends the “Lord’s day” in labor, the editor of the Standard replies as follows:-SITI February 17, 1887, page 102.1

    “The course of the brother referred to is in direct violation of the law of the land, and is, therefore, directly opposed to the teaching of the Scriptures, which insist that Christians shall be law-abiding citizens.”SITI February 17, 1887, page 102.2

    It seems to us that that is a roundabout way of answering the question. Why could not the editor of the Standard have come direct to the point, and given the commandment which the brother was violating by laboring on Sunday? The reason is obvious; because there is no such commandment. If we were asked what should be done with a church-member who persisted in laboring upon the Sabbath, the answer would be to deprive him of church fellowship; and the reason for such action would be that he had violated the fourth commandment, which forbids secular labor on the seventh day of the week. But it is impossible to name any scripture which a man violates by working on Sunday, and therefore such an one can be accused only of violating the law of the land.SITI February 17, 1887, page 102.3

    Could anything more clearly show that the Sunday-sabbath is wholly a man-made institution, having nothing but human authority to support it? We could not frame an argument that would show the utter worthlessness of Sunday more clearly than does this admission by one of its advocates; for the reader may rest assured that if the editor of the Standard had known of any divine law against Sunday labor, he would have quoted it without delay. The Sunday-sabbath has no sanction in the Scriptures, and therefore is not binding on anybody.SITI February 17, 1887, page 102.4

    It is said, however, that the law of the land forbids Sunday labor, and that the Bible commands us to obey the laws of the land, thus sanctioning Sunday rest. The Bible does nothing of the kind. Paul says that every one should must be subject to “the higher powers,” because they are ordained of God; but by that very statement he recognizes a power still above the “higher powers,” and that is God, the highest power. All men owe allegiance to this highest power, and if the “higher powers” are unmindful of their duty, that does not absolve us from our allegiance to God. If they make laws which contravene the laws of God, then the Bible tells us that “we ought to obey God rather than men.” Acts 5:29. Now the law of the land, forbidding labor on Sunday, is in direct opposition to the law of God, which says: “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work; but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God; in it thou shalt not do any work.” Exodus 20:8-10. Therefore we are bound to disobey any human law requiring us to regard Sunday as a sacred day. We cannot, even by implication, admit that Sunday has any claims to reverence.SITI February 17, 1887, page 102.5

    Some years ago there was a law in the United States to the effect that if a slave left his master, and escaped to a State where slavery was not allowed, anybody finding him should return him to the one who professed to own him. Any man who would refuse to send a fugitive slave back into bondage, was liable to heavy penalties. We do not know how the editor of the Standard regarded that law, but we do know that many men who plead for Sunday observance on the same ground that he does, namely, that it is required by the law of the land, utterly refused to be bound by the Fugitive Slave Law. Christian men despised the law, and deliberately violated it. And they were justified in so doing. Why? Because slavery is an accursed thing, and because the Fugitive Slave Law was in direct violation of the command of God, which says: “Thou shalt not deliver unto his master the servant which is escaped from his master unto thee; he shall dwell with thee, even among you, in that place which he shall choose in one of thy gates, where it liketh him best; thou shalt not oppress him.” Deuteronomy 23:15, 16.SITI February 17, 1887, page 102.6

    It is a maxim, even in human law, that if the human law is contrary to the divine law, the subject is in duty bound to break that law. No human law can claim a moment’s consideration when it conflicts with the law of God. We venture the assertion that if Congress should enact a law requiring men to take the name of God in vain, the editor of the Standard would not only ignore that law, but would use all his eloquence to persuade others to trample upon it. If he would not obey the law of the land, when it is in opposition to the third commandment, why should he plead for it when it is in opposition to the fourth?SITI February 17, 1887, page 102.7

    Let the reader not forget that one of the ablest and staunchest advocates of Sunday has plainly admitted that there is no divine command for Sunday observance. And he is not the only one who has made such an admission. Remember also that there is a most emphatic commandment of the Lord, enjoining the observance of the seventh day of the week, and setting apart the other six days, Sunday among the rest, for labor. Then let him decide whether he ought to obey God rather than men. W.SITI February 17, 1887, page 102.8

    “Infant Baptism—An Explanation” The Signs of the Times, 13, 7.

    E. J. Waggoner

    “In the SIGNS OF THE TIMES of January 6, there is an article over Brother R. F. Cottrell’s name headed, ‘One Error Leads to Another,’ in which is quoted an extract from a Methodist minister’s discourse upon baptism, and Brother C. says: ‘It is hard to see how the Baptists can answer this argument while they hold to the change of the Sabbath.’ Does Brother C. believe in infant baptism, or that baptism came in the room of circumcision? A TRUTH SEEKER.”SITI February 17, 1887, page 102.9

    To both these questions we can answer, No. Brother Cottrell does not believe in infant baptism, nor that baptism takes the place of circumcision. Neither of these things is believed by any writer for the SIGNS. In the article referred to he means that he does not see how the Baptists can from their own standpoint answer the argument of the Methodist minister. Thus: It is stated that the New Testament nowhere expressly enjoins the observance of Sunday, improperly called “the Christian Sabbath,” and this is true. It is also a truth that the New Testament, and the Old too, for that matter, says nothing about infant baptism, neither does the New Testament intimate that baptism takes the place of circumcision. Baptists reject so-called infant baptism because it is not commanded, yet they keep Sunday, which also is not commanded, now if they persist in the observance of Sunday without any divine command therefore, it is evident that they cannot consistently repudiate infant baptism on the ground that it is not commanded. This is an instance of argumentum ad hominem. The writer does not mean to intimate that it is right to baptize infants, but to show how inconsistent those are who reject that ceremony because it is not commanded, and accept another ordinance which is equally unfounded. Baptists are right in their position upon baptism; if in all things they were consistent with this, they would keep the Sabbath.SITI February 17, 1887, page 102.10

    There is just one text in the Bible which is sometimes referred to as showing that baptism takes the place of circumcision, although it gives no color whatever to that idea. It is Colossians 2:10-12, which reads thus: “And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power; in whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ; buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.” The very reading of it shows that baptism is not the circumcision referred to, because it says, “Ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands,” and baptism cannot be administered without hands. This circumcision made without hands is the “putting off the body of the sins of the flesh,” and is the same as the circumcision of the heart, spoken of in Romans 2:29. It is the spiritual observance of the commandments, which is accomplished only in Christ, see Romans 8:3, 4; 2 Corinthians 5:21. The putting off of the sins of the flesh is the same as the crucifixion of the old man, that the body of sin might be destroyed (Romans 6:6), or the becoming dead to the law by the body of Christ (Romans 7:4), and is properly followed by burial with Christ in baptism, as is indicated in Colossians 2:10-12. W.SITI February 17, 1887, page 102.11

    “‘My Lord Delayeth His Coming’” The Signs of the Times, 13, 7.

    E. J. Waggoner

    “True, our Lord delayed his coming, but as a thief suddenly he is coming to many every day, and to all he will finally come at such an hour as we think not.” This quotation isn’t from the Bible, but from a denominational newspaper. As we read it, we could not help thinking how blind so many professed Christians are upon the simple subject of the coming of the Lord. It will be noticed that the writer of the above takes it for granted that the Lord is coming. How did he learn that truth? Evidently from the Bible. But how could he learn it from the Bible that the Lord is coming, without learning some of the particulars concerning his coming? That is a mystery.SITI February 17, 1887, page 102.12

    Is the Lord “coming to many every day”? The Scriptures are silent about the many comings. Christ said, “I will come again,” which means only once more; and Paul plainly declares that he will come “the second time.” Since Christ is to come only the second time, it is evident that he is not coming to many every day.SITI February 17, 1887, page 102.13

    Another evidence that the Lord is not coming to many every day, is that when he comes everybody will know it. Said Jesus, “For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” Matthew 24:27. “A fire shall devour before him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about him.” Psalm 50:3. When he comes, he will possess the throne of his glory, and will come in all the glory of the Father. Matthew 25:31; 16:27. So great will be the glory that it cannot be hid from the eyes of any; so the apostle John says: “Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him.” Revelation 1:7.SITI February 17, 1887, page 102.14

    The extract which we quoted to begin with, implies that Christ comes at the death of individuals. This idea is overthrown by the Scriptures which we have quoted, but we have direct testimony as to how Jesus will come for his saints. Paul said to the Thessalonians that he would not have them in ignorance concerning their dead friends, and gave them some words of comfort. Did he say, “Christ has come and taken your friends to be with him.” No; he said, “For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him [that is from the dead].... For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first; then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” 1 Thessalonians 4:14-17. Thus we find that when the Lord comes he will take all his saints at once and not simply one at a time, and there will be a sound that will not only be heard by all who are upon the earth, but which will penetrate the graves and awake the dead.SITI February 17, 1887, page 102.15

    It has been eighteen hundred years since our Saviour’s first advent, but that is no evidence that his second coming is delayed. If a man tells us that he will come to see us at a certain time some distance in the future, we cannot accuse him of delaying his coming until the set time has passed. Christ did not set any time for his coming, but he gave certain signs, as the darkening of the sun and moon, and the falling of the stars, which should show it to be near. After rehearsing these signs, he said of his coming, “When ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.” Matthew 24:33. And then he added: “Verily I say unto you, This generation [i.e., the generation which should witness these signs] shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.” So long as any are alive who witnessed these things, there is no reason to say that the Lord delayeth his coming; and Christ’s promise that he will come before the generation passes away, cannot fail.SITI February 17, 1887, page 102.16

    It is true that the signs which the Saviour gave to mark the nearness of his coming, are long in the past. But we are not therefore justified in saying, “My Lord delayeth his coming.” None but the evil servant says that, even in his heart. Matthew 24:48-51. True it is that to that servant the Lord will come “in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, and shall cut him asunder.” Surely this should serve as a warning against any servant saying that our Lord does delay his coming.SITI February 17, 1887, page 103.1

    The fact that the signs of Christ’s coming have been fulfilled, should lead us to say, not that our Lord delays his coming, but that it must be very near. If we take this position, and watch, we need not be taken unawares. Said Christ: “And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares.” Luke 21:34. Paul said: “But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.” 1 Thessalonians 5:4. “Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.” W.SITI February 17, 1887, page 103.2

    2 Peter 3:10” The Signs of the Times, 13, 7.

    E. J. Waggoner

    A brother beyond the mountains asks concerning this text, “Does it state that the earth as well as the works is to be burned up? Why is also omitted in the Revised Version? May it not be made plain from other scriptures that the earth will not be totally destroyed?”SITI February 17, 1887, page 103.3

    We think that “also” is correctly omitted in the Revised Version. The Scriptures are very plain upon the point that the earth will not be totally destroyed. On verse 11 Clarke says:-SITI February 17, 1887, page 103.4

    “All these things shall be dissolved. They will be separated, all decomposed; but none of them destroyed. And as they are the original matter out of which God formed the terraqueous globe, consequently they may enter again into the composition of a new system.”SITI February 17, 1887, page 103.5

    And Barnes, on verse 10, says:-SITI February 17, 1887, page 103.6

    “So far as the action of fire is concerned, the form of the earth may pass away, and its aspect be changed; but, unless the direct power which created it interpose to annihilate it, the matter which now composes it will still be in existence.... The word rendered burned up, like the word just before used and rendered fervent heat-a word of the same origin, but here intensive-means that they will undergo such a change as fire will produce; not, necessarily, that the matter composing them will be annihilated.”SITI February 17, 1887, page 103.7

    You will be interested and no doubt instructed by reading a sermon by Wesley on this subject.SITI February 17, 1887, page 103.8

    A few texts of Scripture will place the matter beyond all doubt.SITI February 17, 1887, page 103.9

    The Saviour said (Matthew 5:5), “The meek shall inherit the earth.” Psalm 37 says the same thing and adds, “Their inheritance shall be forever.” Man would never have lost the earth if he had not sinned. By sin the earth is defiled and corrupted; but Paul says of our inheritance that it has been purchased and is waiting for redemption. Ephesians 1:14. This can refer only to the earth.SITI February 17, 1887, page 103.10

    We may conclude from the words of Peter that the new earth will bear the same relation to the “earth which now is,” that this bears to the earth which was before the flood. There can be no doubt then, when the “fountains of the great deep were all broken up,” and the “windows of heaven were opened,” that the face of nature was so changed that everything looked new and strange to Noah. And so will it be when the fire has passed upon the earth, melting the elements and turning the “into a lake of fire;” when it comes forth beautified and free from every sign of the curse, well may it be called “a new earth.” The most important point is that we heed the admonition of the apostles in verses 11-14 of this chapter.SITI February 17, 1887, page 103.11

    “‘A Weighty and Timely Utterance.’ (Continued.)” The Signs of the Times, 13, 7.

    E. J. Waggoner


    The next statement that is made is the following:-SITI February 17, 1887, page 103.12

    “Sometimes they made collections for the poor. What day did Paul request them to attend to that? Was it the seventh day, the Jewish Sabbath? No; Paul said (1 Corinthians 16:2): ‘Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.’ Why should the first day of the week be designated instead of any other, unless it was a special day set apart for religious purposes?”SITI February 17, 1887, page 103.13

    Like many other Sunday advocates, Dr. Bailey needs only to find the words “first day of the week” in a text, in order to have an argument for Sunday. No matter what the subject of the text is, if it contains the expression, “first day of the week,” that seems to be sufficient to convince them that Sunday is the Sabbath. On this text we have this to say: Paul did not tell them to attend to the business on the seventh day of the week, because it involved work which should not be done upon the Sabbath. The poor saints in Jerusalem needed help, and Paul had taken upon himself the work of securing contributions from the Gentile converts. See Galatians 2:9, 10. And now in pursuance of this duty, he writes to the brethren in Corinth, directing them to each one by himself lay by in store a certain amount, according as he had been prospered. The amount to be laid by could only be determined by a consideration of the business of the preceding week, so that he might know what his profits had been. There is no more similarity between what he directed them to do and the modern church collection, than there is between daylight and darkness. That these contributions were not taken to the church and there placed in the contribution box, is shown by what Paul wrote to these same brethren in his second epistle a year later. We quote:-SITI February 17, 1887, page 103.14

    “For as touching the ministering to the saints, it is superfluous for me to write to you; for I know the forwardness of your mind, for which I boast of you to them of Macedonia, that Achaia was ready a year ago; and your zeal hath provoked very many. Yet have I sent the brethren, lest our boasting of you should be in vain in this behalf; that, as I said, ye may be ready; lest haply if they of Macedonia come with me, and find you unprepared, we (that we say not, ye) should be ashamed in this same confident boasting. Therefore I thought it necessary to exhort the brethren, that they would go before unto you, and make up before hand your bounty, whereof ye had notice before, that the same might be ready, as a matter of bounty, and not as of covetousness.” 2 Corinthians 9:1-5.SITI February 17, 1887, page 103.15

    Note the expressions in the above. Paul had boasted of the forwardness of the Corinthian brethren, and had thereby stirred up many to contribute liberally. Some of these liberal brethren of Macedonia were going with Paul to Jerusalem, and he feared that he might possibly arrive in Corinth and find the Corinthian brethren unprepared with their donation. In that case, both he and they would be put to shame before the Macedonian brethren. To guard against this possibility, he sent some of the brethren ahead to gather up the individual contributions, so that everything might be ready when he should come. This text is of itself sufficient refutation of the assumption that in 1 Corinthians 16:2 Paul directed the brethren to make a collection in church on the first day of the week.SITI February 17, 1887, page 103.16

    In further proof that these weekly contributions were not to be made in church, we cite the words of the text itself: “Let every one of you lay by him in store.” Whoever can see in this a direction to put money in the church contribution box, might naturally be supposed to find in the first clause of the fourth commandment a direction to keep the first day. The man who drops his penny into the box or plate which the deacon passes before him in church, puts his money away from him, and not by him. The following translations of this clause will be sufficient to convince anybody that the contributions were not to be made in church:-SITI February 17, 1887, page 103.17

    “Greenfield, in his Lexicon, translates the Greek term, ‘by one’s self, i.e., at home.’ Two Latin versions, the Vulgate and that of Castellio, render it, ‘apud soi,’ with one’s self, at home. Three French translations, those of Martir, Osterwald, and De Sacy, ‘chuz soi,’ at his own house, at home. The German of Luther, ‘bci such scffrest,’ by himself at home. The Dutch, ‘by hemslven,’ same as the German. The Italian of Diodati, ‘appresso di se,’ in his own presence at home. The Spanish of Felipe Sico, ‘en su cusa,’ in his own house. The Portuguese of Ferreira, ‘para isso,’ with himself. The Swedish, ‘nuce sig sief,’ near himself. I know not how much the list of authorities might be swelled; for I have not examined one translation that differs from those quoted above.”-J. W. Morton, Former Missionary of the Reformed Presbyterian Church.SITI February 17, 1887, page 103.18

    The next “argument” from Scripture is the following:-SITI February 17, 1887, page 103.19

    “In writing to the Colossians, Paul says (Colossians 2:16); ‘Let no man therefore judge you in meat or in drink, or in respect of a holy day, or of the new moon, or of the Sabbath day.’ ... This letter to the Colossians was written by Paul thirty years after Christ’s death and resurrection. Thus we see that the customs of the disciples and apostles had been kept up, of meeting on the first day of the week.”SITI February 17, 1887, page 103.20

    Here again the Doctor has evidently quoted from memory; for in the text the last expression is plural instead of singular, thus, “of the Sabbath days,” and not “of the Sabbath day.” How from this text he finds his conclusion that “the customs of the disciples and apostles had been kept up, of meeting on the first day of the week,” is entirely beyond our comprehension; for the text makes no mention of the first day of the week. Let us see what the text really means. We quote it together with the seventeenth verse, which the Doctor found it convenient to omit:-SITI February 17, 1887, page 103.21

    “Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days; which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.”SITI February 17, 1887, page 103.22

    Here we have holy days, new moons, and the Sabbath days, which are shadows of things in the work of Christ. This shows that Paul has reference to the ceremonial ordinances which were introduced after the fall and the promise of the Messiah. The twenty-third chapter of Leviticus contains a record of the appointment of these Sabbath days. It will be noticed that they are all connected with meats and drinks (see verse 37); and, further, that they are entirely distinct from the Sabbath of the Lord (verse 38). In the Sabbath of the Lord, the seventh day of the week, there is nothing shadowy,-which prefigures Christ,-because it was given in Eden when man was first created, and when there was no need of a sacrifice being made. In the text in Colossians Paul has not the slightest reference to the Sabbath of the Lord. In the preceding verse he has stated that the law of types and shadows had been nailed to the cross; since it consisted only of shadows, it necessarily ceased when the substance came; and therefore Paul says that no one need be judged for the performance or nonperformance of its provisions. To show that this conclusion is not a new idea of our own we quote the following:-SITI February 17, 1887, page 103.23

    “The apostle speaks here in reference to some particulars of the handwriting of ordinances, which had been taken away, viz., the distinction of meats and drinks, what was clean and what unclean, according to the law; and the necessity of observing certain holidays or festivals; such as the new moons, and particular Sabbaths, or those which should be observed with more than ordinary solemnity; all these had been taken out of the way, and nailed to the cross, and were no longer of moral obligation. There is no intimation here that the Sabbath was done away, or that its moral use was superseded, by the introduction of Christianity. I have shown elsewhere the ‘remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy,’ is a command of perpetual obligation, and can never be superseded but by the final termination of time.”-Clarke, on Colossians 2:16.SITI February 17, 1887, page 103.24

    “The word Sabbath in the Old Testament is applied not only to the seventh day, but to all the days of holy rest that were observed by the Hebrews, and particularly to the beginning and close of their great festivals. There is, doubtless, reference to those days in this place, as the word is used in the plural number, and the apostle does not refer particularly to the Sabbath properly so called. There is no evidence, from this passage, that he would teach that there was no obligation to observe any holy time, for there is not the slightest reason to believe that he meant to declare that one of the ten commandments had ceased to be binding on mankind. If he had used the word in the singular number-‘the Sabbath’-it would then, of course, have been clear that he meant to affirm that that commandment had ceased to be binding, and that a Sabbath was no longer to be observed. But the use of the term in the plural number, and the connection, show that he had his eye on the great number of days which were observed by the Hebrews as festivals, as a part of their ceremonial and typical law, and not on the moral law, or the ten commandments. No part of the moral law-no one of the ten commandments-could be spoken of as “a shadow of good things to come.’ These commandments are, from the nature of moral law, of perpetual and universal obligation.”-Barnes’s Notes on Colossians 2:16.SITI February 17, 1887, page 104.1

    The Doctor’s “Scripture proof” of the proposition that Sunday is the Christian Sabbath, closes with the following:-SITI February 17, 1887, page 104.2

    “In the closing book of the divine record, sixty years after the resurrection, the apostle John, who had leaned on Jesus’s breast at the supper, exclaims, ‘I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day.’ Revelation 1:10. He held it in precious observance; and the Spirit, which was given so abundantly at Pentecost on the seventh Lord’s day, comes again to John sixty years later so richly that he says: ‘I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day.’ Thus not only the Christians at Jerusalem, but at Troas, Corinth, Colosse, and John in Patmos, places many hundred miles apart, are keeping the Lord’s day, the first day of the week, as the Christians’ day of religious worship, or the Christians’ Sabbath. The order of things, as we have seen, was sanctioned by Christ and the Holy Spirit immediately after the resurrection of Christ, and established by the inspired apostles wherever they preached the gospel. I have now presented the scriptural proofs of these facts.”SITI February 17, 1887, page 104.3

    What does Revelation 1:10 prove? Simply this: that John was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day. The “reasoning” which allows that text to be used as a proof of Sunday sacredness is unworthy of a child. The apostle uses the term “Lord’s day,” and straightway grave doctors of divinity will assume that he must necessarily mean Sunday. And what is the ground of this assumption? Simply this: that a few hundred years after the days of the apostles, men began to call Sunday the Lord’s day, and that custom has obtained quite general sanction in the Christian church. Now because men at the present day call Sunday the Lord’s day, they assume that John must have done the same. Thus they interpret the Bible according to their own ideas and practices, instead of regulating their ideas and practices by the Bible. A more pernicious method of using the Bible cannot be conceived. It is by this sort of reasoning that the Catholic Church upholds the worship of images and all of its other abominations; and from that church professed Protestants have borrowed it in order to uphold the Papal institution of Sunday. Throughout the New Testament we find no sacred title applied to the first day of the week. It is nowhere called the Sabbath, and nowhere is it said to be the Lord’s day or a holy day. It is simply called the first day of the week. If we could find one text stating that the first day of the week is the Lord’s day, that would be sufficient, and we might then conclude that the apostle had reference to Sunday in Revelation 1:10; but in that case we should never hear our Sunday friends quote this latter text in favor of Sunday; they would most assuredly take the text which contained the proof.SITI February 17, 1887, page 104.4

    But is it possible for us to know what day is referred to in Revelation 1:10? Certainly. The fourth commandment says: “The seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God.” Exodus 20:10. The Lord, through the prophet Isaiah, expressly mentions the Sabbath as his day, thus: “If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day.” Isaiah 58:13. And Jesus, when the Jews had falsely accused him of breaking the Sabbath, said: “The Son of man is Lord also of the Sabbath.” Mark 2:28. These texts prove most emphatically that the Sabbath of the fourth commandment, the day which the Jews observed,-the seventh day of the week,-is the Lord’s day. No other day of the week is entitled to that appellation.SITI February 17, 1887, page 104.5

    We have now examined all the Scripture evidence that can be brought to bear in favor of Sunday as the Sabbath. And what have we found? No argument whatever, but evidence to show that the seventh day of the week is the Sabbath. But suppose we had found that the disciples had held religious meetings on Sunday; suppose it were true that the meeting on the evening of Christ’s resurrection was a religious service, and that the gathering “after eight days” could be shown to have fallen within the compass of a week of seven days, and that it also was a religious meeting, what would be lacking to couple this argument in favor of Sunday sacredness? The essential element of proof would be lacking. No matter if we might have found the disciples meeting every first day, we could not call it the Sabbath unless the Bible called it so. Without a Bible statement authorizing the change, no man has a right to suppose that any change has been made. Those who would regard Sunday as the Sabbath, might learn a lesson from Balaam of old, who said: “If Balak would give me is house full of silver and gold, I cannot go beyond the word of the Lord my God, to do less or more.” Numbers 22:18. W.SITI February 17, 1887, page 104.6

    “Immortality of Angels” The Signs of the Times, 13, 7.

    E. J. Waggoner

    In place of the regular Sabbath-school which would be commented upon this week, we occupy the space in answering the following questions concerning the angels. Since the ministration of angels is the subject of the present series of lessons, these notes will not be devoid of interest to the Sabbath-school scholars, as side lights.SITI February 17, 1887, page 107.1

    “Do the angels now have immortality? If they do, how are we to understand 1 Timothy 6:15, 16, where it is stated that God only has immortality? This text is often used to prove that no part of man is immortal; why does it not prove the same with reference to the angels, or even of Christ himself?”SITI February 17, 1887, page 107.2

    Immortality is unending existence; it is exemption from death. Christ says of those who shall gain the world to come, that they cannot die any more, because they shall be equal unto the angels. Luke 20:35, 36. This indicates plainly that the angels cannot die, and that they are therefore immortal. And yet it is a truth that God only has immortality. This seeming paradox is explained by John 5:26, 27, where we read: “For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself; and hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man.” God has “life in himself;” he is immortal by nature. He not only has life for himself, but he has life to bestow upon others. “The gift of God is eternal life.”SITI February 17, 1887, page 107.3

    It is in this sense that God only has immortality. He is self-existent, and his existence is self-perpetuating. He is the source of all life. “In Him we live, and move, and have our being.” The angels, when they were created, were placed upon probation. Some of them sinned, and “kept not their first estate,” and they are kept “in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day,” when they will utterly perish. Others remained loyal to God, and are now confirmed in immortality. But they, just as will be the case with the redeemed saints, depend upon God, the source of life, for their immortality, and they have no power to confer immortality upon others.SITI February 17, 1887, page 107.4

    The case of Christ is different. He is the only begotten Son of God. As such he not only possesses immortality, but he possesses the power to confer immortality upon others. Thus we read: “For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself.” John 5:26. And again: “For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will.” Verse 21. This life which Christ has in himself, and which he can bestow upon others, was not given to him after a successful probation, for Christ was never placed on probation, as created beings are. He was by inheritance a more exalted name and station than even the angels. Hebrews 1:3, 4. All that he has, is his by inheritance; immortality, and the power of bestowing it upon others, is his by virtue of his being the Son of God.SITI February 17, 1887, page 107.5

    This statement concerning Christ does not at all militate against the statement that God only hath immortality; for Christ is God. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” John 1:1. Whatever attributes belong to the Father, belong also to the Son. When we read that “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth,” we must understand the term “God” as including both the Father and the Son, for without the Word “was not anything made that was made.” And so the Father “hath committed all judgment unto the Son; that all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him.” John 5:22, 23.SITI February 17, 1887, page 107.6

    “Is there any Scripture authority for speaking of Gabriel’s trump as the one that shall raise the dead?”SITI February 17, 1887, page 107.7

    None whatever. The angel Gabriel is on high in position in the courts of Heaven, as we learn from the mention of him. He was commissioned to make it known to Daniel the interpretation of his visions. See Daniel 8:16; 9:20-22. He was also sent to foretell the birth of John the Baptist, when his words “I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God” (Luke 1:19), seem to imply a more intimate relation to God than that of ordinary angels. From Revelation 22:6 we conclude that the work of revealing secrets to the prophets is intrusted to one certain angel. The angel who showed John the wonders recorded in Revelation, said, “I am thy fellow servant, and [the fellow-servant] of thy brethren the prophets.” Then Gabriel was the one who talked with John. This view is strengthened by Revelation 1:1, where we learn that Christ saw a ... angel to convey his messages. Thus: “The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to show unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he [Christ] sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John.”SITI February 17, 1887, page 107.8

    But it is the voice of the Archangel that shall raise the dead (1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17), and the name of the Archangel is Michael. Jude 9. Michael, the Archangel, is none other than Christ, for it is the voice of the Son of God that causes those who are in their graves to come forth. John 5:28, 29. The trumpet that sounds is the “trump of God.” Only once in the history of the world has that trumpet sounded, and that was when the Archangel, the Son of God, spoke the ten commandments from Mount Sinai. Then the earth quaked. When it sounds at the last day, not only does the earth quake, but heaven also. W.SITI February 17, 1887, page 107.9

    “Back Page” The Signs of the Times, 13, 7.

    E. J. Waggoner

    “With what day of the year in the Roman (or common) calendar does the tenth day of the seventh month of the Jewish calendar correspond? Is it the 22nd of October? If so, please explain. “W. T. H.”SITI February 17, 1887, page 112.1

    There is no fixed day of the Roman calendar which corresponds to the tenth day of the seventh Jewish month. This is due to the fact that, like our months, Jewish months differ in length, and that every second or third year an extra month is inserted, so that some years have thirteen months. Last year the tenth day of the seventh month of the Jewish calendar came on October 10; this year it will come on September 28.SITI February 17, 1887, page 112.2

    In a recent murder trial in San Francisco, the jury disagreed, ten of the jurymen voting for acquittal. One of the two who held out for the punishment of the criminal, quoted from the Bible in support of his opinion, and the papers are making a great ado about it. One paper says that the dissenting juror, in reply to a question, said that he believed that the sun stood still at the command of Joshua, “and that, as stated in the Bible, the sun went round the earth, and that the earth is flat.” The newspapers furnish us with a great amount of information about the Bible, which we could never find out by the Bible itself. The man who can find the statement in the Bible, that the sun ever “went” around the earth, or that the earth is flat, will be entitled to a hearing through the columns of the SIGNS OF THE TIMES.SITI February 17, 1887, page 112.3

    “Is it right for Seventh-day Adventists to join themselves to the Good Templar Lodge? Does the Bible approve of it? A. R.”SITI February 17, 1887, page 112.4

    No; it is not right for Seventh-day Adventists, or anybody else professing to be Christian, to join any secret society. There is nothing in the Bible to justify secret societies, but much to condemn them. Said Christ, “In secret have I said nothing.” The church is the recognized body of Christ, and to it is intrusted all reforms. It is the only true benevolent society in existence. It is only when the church loses sight of its legitimate work here on earth that its members join secret societies. Moreover, secret societies are incompatible with true freedom; for whoever pledges himself to something of which he is ignorant, becomes a voluntary slave.SITI February 17, 1887, page 112.5

    The Christian at Work has settled the question of communion wine. It is confident that unfermented wine ought never to be used, because it claims that unfermented wine is not wine at all. But then it doesn’t think the wine should be strong; if it has anything fermented about it, that is sufficient. Its reason for this is the extraordinary discovery that the wine with which our Saviour celebrated the Supper with his disciples, was “a light claret mixed one-half with water”! It beats all how much more some people know than what is written. And now, since the Bible says nothing about wine of any kind at the institution of the Lord’s Supper, but simply mentions “the cup,” and “the fruit of the vine,” will the Christian at Work or some other wise body please tell us what kind of a vine produces “a light claret mixed one-half with water”? The only “fruit of the vine” of which we have any knowledge, is grapes, and the unfermented juice thereof.SITI February 17, 1887, page 112.6

    A subscriber asks if question 2 of the Sabbath-school lesson in SIGNS of January 20, entitled, “Who the Angels Are,” is answered correctly. We answer, No; angels are not mentioned in any of the following books of the Bible: Leviticus, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Ruth, Ezekiel, Nehemiah, Esther, Proverbs, Solomon’s Son, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Malachi, Philippians, 1 Thessalonians, 2 Timothy, Titus, James, and 1, 2, and 3 John. We printed the lesson that week as it was sent to us, without giving it careful examination as we ought. We have not yet got beyond making mistakes ourselves, nor overlooking them in copy furnished by others, but we aim to be correct, and are anxious to make amends when our attention is called to a blunder.SITI February 17, 1887, page 112.7

    This mistake, however, does not detract from the truth intended to be taught by the lesson. If angels were mentioned only once in the Bible, their existence would be as fully proved as if they were mentioned on every page. Every statement made by Inspiration is true; and truth cannot be made more true by repetition.SITI February 17, 1887, page 112.8

    Sunday morning February 13, the brigantine Tahiti arrived in San Francisco, thirty days from Tahiti, bringing home Brother J. I Tay, who has been absent on a missionary tour in some of the islands of the Pacific since the first of last July. He is in good health, and reports a most prosperous trip. We hope to be able to give some items from him next week’s SIGNS.SITI February 17, 1887, page 112.9

    “Sunday in Massachusetts” The Signs of the Times, 13, 7.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The Judiciary Committee of the Boston Common Council, to whom was referred an order for the mayor to petition the Legislature for such modifications of the Massachusetts Sunday law as may be necessary, have reported, and the report, together with the full text of the proposed new act, is printed in the Boston Herald of January 28. From the report it seems that the Sunday law of Massachusetts is the same now as when enacted in 1672, except that compulsory church attendance ceased in 1836. The committee say that inasmuch as this law was framed before there was a single city in the State, whereas more than half of the present population is in cities, and inasmuch as the introduction of steamboats, railroads, and other modern inventions has materially changed the habits of the people, the time has come for such a revision of the law as shall recognize existing facts. They say that it is not true that there has been any desire to appropriate any portion of Sunday to the purposes of business, but that while labor organizations demand the reservation of Sunday as a day of rest from toil, there is an equal demand for a cessation of unreasonable and superstitious restrictions. They also claim that the radical difference between town and country life prevents the possibility of any one single law being equally applicable to both.SITI February 17, 1887, page 112.10

    Speaking of those who observe the seventh day of the week, the report says:-SITI February 17, 1887, page 112.11

    “Nearly all of these persons are Israelites, but the great majority are shop-keepers, and are thereby debarred from earning their living on Sunday, after giving up Saturday as a matter of principle. This large class of our citizens, one which is noted for its sobriety, economy, and respect to our laws, is increasing in number daily, and is entitled to some special legislation. It is a curious anomaly that when the Puritans reestablished the Jewish Sabbath in practice [that is, with respect to the strictness of observance], they selected another day of the week, without any Scriptural warrant therefore. The result is that they especially punish the Israelites, who alone have perpetuated and believed in the real Sabbath of the Old Testament.”SITI February 17, 1887, page 112.12

    They also enunciate the following truth, which, in the zeal for rigid Sunday laws, is being quite generally forgotten:-SITI February 17, 1887, page 112.13

    “If it be true that mankind is entitled to one day of rest in every week, it is no less true that mankind is entitled to six days of lawful work in every seven.”SITI February 17, 1887, page 112.14

    In harmony with the above principle, the proposed act provides that,SITI February 17, 1887, page 112.15

    “Any person belonging to any recognized religious sect, who conscientiously and habitually refrains from work on Saturday, may carry on any secular trade or business on Sunday, within his own house, shop, or working place; provided that he does not thereby annoy any religious assembly during their hours of worship.”SITI February 17, 1887, page 112.16

    There are some other features which we shall notice at another time. We shall await with interest the action of the Massachusetts Legislature on this proposed amendment to the Sunday law of that State. While it grants to Sabbath-keepers the right to quietly labor on Sunday, it guards the day in a very strict manner. It is simply a proposal to make, in a law which is itself unwarranted, a single concession in behalf of justice. If it should be rejected, it will indicate a degree of bigotry which will show that this is anything but an “enlightened age.”SITI February 17, 1887, page 112.17

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